July 20, 2020
By David VanEpps
“You can have everything you want in life, if you’ll just help enough people get what they need.” (Zig Ziglar)
Seek the win-win solution. If I win, you win; if I win more, you win more. This should be the fundamental premise of your employment relationships, your personal and familial relationships, and all your life’s relationships. It all boils down to bearing fruit.
In the Bible, Jesus talks about bearing fruit as a fundamental principle of how we live. He says, “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit” (John 15:16 NIV) and “every healthy tree bears good fruit” (Matthew 7:17 ESV). Bearing fruit was a fundamental expectation nearly 2000 years ago, and it’s just as fundamental today.
Fruit in Work and Relationships
How often have you heard someone complain about a friend who can’t maintain a relationship, and they say, “But he’s such a nice guy.” There’s a good chance he’s not bearing fruit. Being nice is a form of fruit, but can he make people laugh, can he make people smile? Is he a good conversationalist and a good listener? Does he bring value to the relationship? Napoleon Dynamite said, “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” It’s a funny quote, but what he’s really saying is, “People only want partners who bear fruit.” What fruit do you bear in your relationships?
At work, we all want to get paid a decent salary, receive competitive benefits, and do meaningful work. In other words, we want our employer to bear fruit for us. On the other hand, your employer wants to know what fruit you bring to the table. Are you a hard worker, a quick learner, passionate about your work, and skilled in your interpersonal skills? Do you produce results and exert a positive influence on those around you? In other words, what fruit do you bear in your work?
Fruits of the Spirit
In the book of Galatians 5:22-23, Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” These attributes are known as the fruits of the spirit, meaning if someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, they will produce spiritual fruit.
The best way to bear fruit is to blossom where you’re planted. Maybe you’re in a job you hate. Maybe you are struggling with a challenging teenager or an illness. No matter where you find yourself, be the best version of you that you can be. Look at all situations in your life and ask yourself, “Do I have the right skills to bear fruit in those situations?” If you’re not sure what fruit you’re bearing, chances are you’re not bearing either the right fruit or enough fruit.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” In order to truly bear fruit, stay connected to the vine, Jesus Christ. Connect to Jesus through reading scripture, prayer, and applying what God’s word says to your everyday life. Produce fruit that allows others to see your character, your heart, your resolve, and your results.